Knee Joint Care
Today my thoughts surround the knee, a joint which works hard in supporting our body weight, walking, running and many more activities, how much do we take it for granted until pain or problems arise?
As a hinge joint it will happily move forward and backwards, it will sustain some rotation but is prone to damage from strong forces of this kind or those coming from the side.
The knee joint has four supporting ligaments, like straps, on the inside (MCL), the outside (LCL) and two spanning the upper and lower leg bones (anterior/ posterior cruciate ligaments). The kneecap (patella) is embedded within the tendon of the thigh muscles, sitting directly over the joint. The knee is a synovial joint; there is a joint capsule in which synovial fluid is produced and this lubricates movement, much like oil in a hinge. The bones of the upper and lower legs are covered by cartilage which protects and aids smooth gliding, you will likely have heard the term meniscus, this is the cartilage on the shin end and can be prone to damage from traumatic impact or extreme rotational forces.
• Strengthen thighs (quadriceps) to provide best support to knee joint
• Be aware of foot placement – stand evenly down through the inner/ outer foot and upright through the shin
• When squatting or lunging, avoid tracking the knee beyond your ankle bone as you bear weight to lessen pressure through the joint
• When standing; track the hip, knee and front of ankle in same direction
• Keep the muscles which cross knee joint flexible, that is the calves, the hamstrings and front of thighs.
• Avoid heavily loaded twisting and rotational forces going through the knee joint
• Work on your feet, specifically the lift in your arches to promote best biomechanical articulation in the joint. Orthotic supports in shoes can be useful, but don’t address the underlying issue if your arch is low/flat.
• Increase flexibility in joints above and below the knee, flexibility of hips and ankles which will affect the complete chain of movement.
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Go well. Will